Breaking NewsFollow Breaking News updates on RSS and Twitter
This page features brief excerpts of news stories published by the mainstream media and, less frequently, blogs, alternative media, and even obviously biased sources. The excerpts are taken directly from the websites cited in each source note. Quotation marks are not used.
This page features brief excerpts of news stories published by the mainstream media and, less frequently, blogs, alternative media, and even obviously biased sources. The excerpts are taken directly from the websites cited in each source note. Quotation marks are not used. Because most of our readers read the NYT we usually do not include the paper's stories in HIGHLIGHTS.
Name of source: USA TODAY
SOURCE: USA TODAY (11-21-05)
Storm winds hammered his 75,000-square-foot warehouse complex on the west bank of the Mississippi River, where his artists build most of the carnival floats each year. Some of Kern's favorite giant figures were damaged. "Dracula lost his clothes. The Mummy lost his robes," he says. In his east bank studio, Kern, 79, says he found "6 feet of water and a dead man. We still don't know who he was."
But Kern, whose family has lived in the Algiers neighborhood for generations, says he quickly began to focus on the importance of the 2006 Mardi Gras -- the 150th anniversary of the pre-Lent bacchanal -- going forward, at least in some form.
"We've got to have this party," Kern says, even as he points to the National Guard troops still handing out food and water from his parking lot. "We've got to show the world that we're down but not out."
Local officials from Mayor Ray Nagin on down agree. Plans are moving forward for a shortened Mardi Gras season that would include six days of parades rather than 11, culminating on Fat Tuesday, Feb. 28.
Nagin will meet with his carnival advisory committee today to decide on the Mardi Gras schedule. The last carnival to be canceled was during the Korean War in the early 1950s.
'This is about business'
The major reason for pushing ahead with Mardi Gras despite the devastation Katrina brought to New Orleans is that it normally is a $1 billion-a-year enterprise -- and right now, this battered city has little besides tourism to look to for revenue. "This isn't about fun. This is about business," Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu says. "We're in the business of producing cultural events, and that business produces tremendous economic impact and provides jobs."
City studies have found Mardi Gras produces $900 million in annual spending and nearly $50 million in direct tax benefits. The emotional lift of a successful Mardi Gras could be just as important for the demoralized city.
Name of source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
SOURCE: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (11-21-05)
Two local consultants, paid $50,000 by the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, are recommending that regional officials get several things done by 2008 to boost the profile of Pittsburgh and change its image nationally.
They include completion of the Great Allegheny Passage, a trail connecting Washington, D.C., to Pittsburgh; restoration and renovation of Point State Park; development of a Greater Oakland Technology Center on the site of the old LTV Hazelwood coke works; completion of the renovation of the Hot Metal Bridge; the commissioning of an "iconic" piece of Pittsburgh-themed art; and construction of a monument noting the achievements of prominent Pittsburghers, termed a "Promenade of Stars."
The celebration would culminate with two weekends of events in November 2008, capped by a gala on Nov. 15.
Name of source: The Guardian
SOURCE: The Guardian (11-21-05)
The poll in El Mundo newspaper - on the 30th anniversary of the re-establishment of the monarchy after the dictator Francisco Franco died - suggested almost a quarter of Spaniards considered themselves republicans. A 50% increase in declared republicans over five years was the result of a surge in the number of 18 to 29-year-olds who preferred to scrap the monarchy, the poll showed. Declining support among young people could spell future trouble for what has previously been considered a model, modern European monarchy.
Nearly four out of 10 young voters defined themselves as republicans - slightly more than those who said they were monarchists. It was the first time in 30 years that polls had produced such a result. The result was not so worrying for King Juan Carlos - who maintains the respect of even diehard republicans after helping usher in democracy following Franco's death - as it was for his heirs.
One historian suggested the 67-year-old king should choose a suitable moment to abdicate in favour of Crown Prince Felipe to maintain his own reputation and set his son off to a good start. "Spain has experimented with republics twice in the past century and a half. There is no guarantee that such a thing might not happen again," Felipe Fernandez-Armesto wrote in El Mundo.
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT ()
Now 87 and preparing to leave Washington after more than 60 years to be closer to relatives in California, Mr. Elsey has at last put down in his own words some of the stories he has been quietly telling historians and documentary filmmakers for years. His newly published memoir, "An Unplanned Life" (University of Missouri Press), is full of revealing glimpses of a vanished Washington - and implicit lessons for some of today's less self-effacing officials.
"I've had lots of interesting experiences and so on," Mr. Elsey said the other day, his face crinkling into a squint as the last rays of November sunlight filtered into his half-packed living room a few blocks from the Potomac River. "But it never occurred to me that this was a book."
Mr. Elsey finally began writing at the urging of a friend, the Truman scholar Robert H. Ferrell, who told him it was past time to let others keep telling his tales in books and films.
SOURCE: NYT ()
Last summer, authorities from the Guatemalan human rights ombudsman's office, searching a munitions depot here, discovered what appear to be all the files of the National Police, an agency so inextricably linked to human rights abuses during this country's 36-year civil conflict that it was disbanded as part of the peace accords signed in 1996.
At that time, President Álvaro Arzú's government, struggling to usher this country through an uncertain transition from war to peace, denied to a truth commission that police files existed. It now seems clear, human rights investigators say, that Mr. Arzú's government, as well as those that followed, knew about the files all along.
In the months since the files were discovered, archivists kept them closed to the public and much of the news media because of concerns that, given the depot's many open, unfinished windows and doorways, the files could be pilfered or destroyed. In addition, the archivists said they needed time simply to do a preliminary examination to get a sense of what was in the files.
The publisher, Fatih Tas, the owner of Aram Publishing, could face three years in jail for issuing the book, "Spoils of War: The Human Cost of America's Arms Trade" by John Tirman, which focuses on military sales to Turkey. It was published in the United States in 1997.
Prosecutors contend that the book humiliates Turkish institutions by including the testimony of people who said they were subjected to human rights violations by the security forces during fighting with Kurdish rebels in the 1990's. Prosecutors also took offense at the book for saying the founder of modern Turkey adopted a nationalism that was "a version of fascism."
The case against Mr. Tas came as a surprise, though he has been sued many times in the past. Turkey recently changed its penal code to favor further freedom of expression in order to qualify for membership in the European Union. But the law still makes it a crime to insult the Turkish identity, the government or Ataturk. Suits still crop up that touch on issues like Kurdish rights or unity of the state, topics that remain sensitive in the eyes of the judiciary.
They also point to Japan's longstanding unease with the rest of Asia and its own sense of identity, which is akin to Britain's apartness from the Continent. Much of Japan's history in the last century and a half has been guided by the goal of becoming more like the West and less like Asia. Today, China and South Korea's rise to challenge Japan's position as Asia's economic, diplomatic and cultural leader is inspiring renewed xenophobia against them here.
One book centers on a Japanese teenager, Kaname, who attains a "correct" understanding of Korea. It begins with a chapter on how South Korea's soccer team supposedly cheated to advance in the 2002 Word Cup; later chapters show how Kaname realizes that South Korea owes its current success to Japanese colonialism.
"It is Japan who made it possible for Koreans to join the ranks of major nations, not themselves," Mr. Nishio said of colonial Korea.
But the comic book, perhaps inadvertently, also betrays Japan's conflicted identity, its longstanding feelings of superiority toward Asia and of inferiority toward the West. The Japanese characters in the book are drawn with big eyes, blond hair and Caucasian features; the Koreans are drawn with black hair, narrow eyes and very Asian features.
That peculiar aesthetic, so entrenched in pop culture that most Japanese are unaware of it, has its roots in the Meiji Restoration of the late 19th century, when Japanese leaders decided that the best way to stop Western imperialists from reaching here was to emulate them.
In 1885, Fukuzawa - who is revered to this day as the intellectual father of modern Japan and adorns the 10,000 yen bill (the rough equivalent of a $100 bill) - wrote "Leaving Asia," the essay that many scholars believe provided the intellectual underpinning of Japan's subsequent invasion and colonization of Asian nations.
Fukuzawa bemoaned the fact that Japan's neighbors were hopelessly backward.
Writing that "those with bad companions cannot avoid bad reputations," Fukuzawa said Japan should depart from Asia and "cast our lot with the civilized countries of the West." He wrote of Japan's Asian neighbors, "We should deal with them exactly as the Westerners do."
The bilateral talks, which took place on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit meeting, took place just a month after Mr. Koizumi's latest trip to the Yasukuni Shrine, a memorial that commemorates Japan's war dead, including high-ranking war criminals from World War II. The visit aggravated Japan's already strained relations with its Asian neighbors.
Mr. Koizumi defended his visits to the shrine, saying that he prayed for peace there. But Japan has found itself continually confronted at the summit meeting here over its handling of its wartime conduct, and has been diplomatically shunned by its neighbors in a region where China's influence is growing rapidly.
Because of Mr. Koizumi's latest visit to the shrine, China's president, Hu Jintao, rejected Mr. Koizumi's request for a meeting here. Mr. Roh agreed to one, but Seoul pointedly downgraded Friday's talks as a "courtesy meeting" with the South Korean host of the summit meeting. Also, Mr. Roh refused to say Friday whether he would go through with a scheduled visit to Japan next month.
Parks, who died Oct. 24 at age 92, refused to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery, Ala., bus in 1955 -- an act of civil disobedience that helped spark the civil rights movement.
Both the House and the Senate approved by voice vote a bill placing the statue in the Capitol and sent the legislation to President Bush for his signature.
The nine-member jury found that the colonel, Nicolás Carranza, had "command responsibility" for the torture of a Salvadoran who was forced to confess falsely to killing an American military adviser, Lt. Cmdr. Albert Schaufelberger, in 1983.
Colonel Carranza was the vice minister of defense, El Salvador's second-highest military commander, from 1979 to 1981, and in 1983 he was head of the Treasury Police, the most notoriously violent of the country's security forces.
Mr. Carranza, who moved to Memphis in 1985 and is now an American citizen, testified that he was a paid informant for the Central Intelligence Agency for two decades, including the years that were the focus of the trial. His tie to the agency was corroborated at the trial by the American ambassador to El Salvador at the time, Robert White.
The verdict was a victory for human rights groups that have been seeking to prosecute foreign military commanders linked to rights violations, especially from the wars in Central America, who have settled in the United States.
SOURCE: NYT (11-18-05)
Swiss mercenaries once served in a number of European countries, most notably as the guard of the French kings, but the papal guard is the only one to have survived.
So this year the veterans of the guard throughout the valleys and mountains of Switzerland are preparing to celebrate its 500th anniversary. Pins and baseball caps with the distinctive guard helmet, T-shirts, watches, ties and Swiss Army knives are on sale.
SOURCE: NYT (11-18-05)
This is the self-proclaimed Gateway to the South where Ali was born Cassius Clay 63 years ago, where he grew up in a modest bungalow on the all-black west side, where a color line determined where he could shop, eat and see movies.
But it was also here that a white police officer named Joe Martin took the 12-year-old Clay, furious that his bicycle had been stolen, and taught him the sweet science of boxing. And it was here that a group of genteel white businessmen invested in the raw, loud-mouthed talent and financed his way to his first heavyweight title.
In explorations during the summer, they found as many as 50 skeletons in a sacred pool and other places, victims of murder and dismemberment in a war that destroyed the city and, it seems, served as a beginning of the collapse of the classic period of the Maya civilization. The precipitous decline of the Maya is one of the enduring mysteries of American archaeology.
As the scale of the massacre became apparent, the archaeologists called on Guatemalan forensic investigators for their experience with mass burials of modern war. The team, established in 1996 to excavate the mass graves from Guatemala's civil war, has also analyzed sites in Bosnia, Kosovo and Rwanda.
Arthur A. Demarest, an archaeologist at Vanderbilt University who directed the excavations, described the discovery yesterday in an announcement by the National Geographic Society and in an interview by telephone from Guatemala City.
"This is probably the most important thing I've ever discovered," said Dr. Demarest, who has explored Maya ruins since the 1980's.
In a gruesome departure from what had been normal Maya warfare, he said, the conquerors - not yet identified - did not spare the city to rule it as a vassal state.
But his record on civil rights is not one-sided. A look at scores of his decisions on race and other civil rights issues shows that he often takes a highly technical approach to volatile issues. His supporters say he carefully applies the law as it is. Sweeping proclamations - and discussions of civil rights history - are rarely part of his decisions.
He sided with a 61-year-old security supervisor claiming age discrimination, with inmates saying prison officials violated their civil rights and with Islamic police officers challenging a ban on beards.
In the case of an Orthodox Jewish teacher who said she had been harassed by a supervisor because of her religion, he wrote that the law did not permit an employer to put "an employee to the 'cruel choice' between religion and employment."
But his civil rights record also includes the cases in which other judges wrote that his opinions "minimize the history of discrimination," were "radical and unwise" and would have "eviscerated" laws banning employment discrimination. Judge Alito, President Bush's nominee for the Supreme Court, shows in these decisions that he is a methodical tactician with sympathy for religious-discrimination claims but a deep skepticism of some civil rights suits.
What emerged from the meeting was a defiant statement defending their collecting practices. Signed by the directors of 18 museums - from the Louvre to the Hermitage in Russia to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles - the document argued that encyclopedic museums have a special mission as treasure houses of world culture, and that today's ethical standards cannot be applied to yesterday's acquisitions. That philosophy is now under siege as never before.
In Rome, a former Getty curator sat tensely and quietly yesterday as her trial began on criminal charges of conspiring to import illegally excavated antiquities for the museum. (Page B8.) On Tuesday, Philippe de Montebello, the longtime director of the Met, is to meet in Rome with a lawyer for the Italian Culture Ministry to discuss works in the museum's collection that the Italians say were looted. Italy is insisting that several other American museums account for dozens of ancient artworks that made their way into their collections.
The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit agreed with the government and the Indians in their effort to block a lower court order for a detailed tally of money owed the Indians going back to 1887.
The accounting had been ordered by Judge Royce Lamberth of Federal District Court, who is overseeing a class-action lawsuit in which thousands of Indians contend that they were cheated out of more than $100 billion in oil, gas, grazing, timber and other royalties overseen by the Interior Department.
In their appeals, the government and the Indians estimated that the accounting ordered by Judge Lamberth would cost up to $13 billion - far more than was reasonable.
With an obvious resonance to current events, the National Archives and Records Administration released 50,000 pages of previously classified documents from the Nixon administration today that reveal how all that president's men wrestled with issues that eerily parallel problems facing the Bush administration.
There are many significant differences between the wars in Vietnam and in Iraq - a point that senior Bush administration officials make at any opportunity. But in tone and content, the Nixon-era debate about the impact of that generation's war - and of war crimes trials -- on public support for the military effort and for White House domestic initiatives strikes many familiar chords.
As the Nixon administration was waging a war and trying to impose a peace in South Vietnam, it worried intensively about how the 1968 massacre at My Lai by American troops would hurt the war effort, both at home and in Asia.
My Lai "could prove acutely embarrassing to the United States" and could affect the Paris peace talks, Defense Secretary Melvin R. Laird warned President Richard M. Nixon. "Domestically, it will provide grist for the mills of antiwar activists," Mr. Laird said.
Documents show how the Nixon White House fretted over politics and perception, much as the current Bush White House has during the Iraq war, and that the Nixon administration feared that reports of the mistreatment of civilians could be ruinous to its image.
A 1969 memo reported intelligence findings that ''Israel is rapidly developing a capability to produce and deploy nuclear weapons,'' despite promises it would not introduce nuclear arms to the region.
The memo by Joseph J. Sisco, an assistant secretary of state, was contained in 50,000 pages of previously secret papers from Richard Nixon's presidency, released Wednesday by the National Archives.
The collection draws heavily on national security files during the Vietnam War, arms control negotiations with the Soviets, and the intense superpower competition for influence in the Middle East and beyond.
Documents are thick with minute aspects of the ebb and flow of progress in Vietnam, showing growing worries about the ability of the South Vietnamese government years before it fell, but also seeking encouragement wherever it could be found.
One May 1970 cable marked ''For Confidential Eyes Only'' provided National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger with an inventory of captured weapons, supplies and food. It noted, for example, that the 1,652.5 tons of rice seized so far would ''feed over 6,000 enemy soldiers for a full year at the full ration.''
North Vietnamese troops were fighting on 1 1/2 pounds of rice a day, cut back to 1 pound when necessary, the cable said.
With improbable precision, the memo said U.S. and South Vietnamese forces had deprived their enemy of the ability to conduct exactly 3,779 typical attacks because of the capture of rockets, mortar and rifle ammunition.
Kissinger, in memos to Nixon, expressed concern about the increasing isolation of South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu, complicating an already unsteady U.S. war effort. He also told Nixon in May 1970, five years before the war ended, that economic chaos, including 30 percent inflation, was a greater risk to the South Vietnamese government than the communists.
To this day, Israel officially neither confirms nor denies its nuclear status and the actual size of its stockpile remains uncertain. But it has long been considered the only nation in the Middle East with atomic weapons.
Researcher William Burr said the memo on Israel's nuclear program sheds light on a little known area of U.S. intelligence.
''For a long time, the U.S. kept secret its assessment of the status of the Israeli nuclear program,'' said Burr, senior analyst at the National Security Archives at George Washington University. The paper shows ''Israel could develop nuclear weapons fairly quickly, something that isn't widely known.''
In the memo, Sisco urged Secretary of State William Rogers to try to curb Israel's ambitions before it was too late.
Name of source: BBC News
SOURCE: BBC News (11-18-05)
He said the challenge aimed "to put the politicians back in their kennels".
The National Parking Adjudication Service reserved judgment on the case but is expected to notify the parties of an outcome later this month.
The Bill of Rights dates from the reign of William and Mary, after James II was deposed in the Glorious Revolution.
In part, it reads: "All grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction are illegal and void."
SOURCE: BBC News (11-16-05)
Ffynnon Rhedyw in Llanllyfni, near Caernarfon, is believed to be older than nearby St Rhedyw's church, which dates from 600AD.
"This site is an interesting example of a class of little-understood monuments which are numerous across Wales, but which are often overlooked," said David Thompson, the trust's head of heritage management.
"We hope it will set a precedent for future, similar, projects which seek to record and present local heritage," he added.
The well's restoration is one part of plans by the community group Menter Llyfni, which hopes to create a network of footpaths in the area to commemorate important people or events from the past.
SOURCE: BBC News (11-14-05)
The tattooed heads, and a thigh bone, are believed to belong to Maori chiefs killed in battle in the 19th century.
They were donated to the Kelvingrove Museum, although they have never been shown in public.
A delegation from New Zealand's national museum Te Papa arrives in Glasgow on Monday to return the heads and offer them for tribal burial.
In Maori culture the heads are known as toi moko. One was purchased by Glasgow Museums from a Liverpool menagerie in 1906.
The other two were donated to the city by a collector in 1951.
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (11-18-05)
The museum, which is in the midst of a 100 (M) million dollar fundraising campaign, plans to acquire and raze a building on a prime corner of Independence Mall. That’s half a block from the museum’s current downtown site.
With a more prominent location within a block of the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, the new facility could attract 250 thousand people in its first year. The museum currently hosts 50 thousand to 65 thousand visitors a year.
SOURCE: AP (11-18-05)
Gullah is an oral language, so the translation was painstaking, beginning in 1979 with a team of Gullah speakers who worked with Pat and Claude Sharpe, translation consultants with Wycliffe Bible Translators.
Many efforts have been made over the years to preserve Gullah, which mixed West African languages with English, and experts believe the translated Bible will be a major contribution toward that goal.
“I think this makes the language universal,” said Ervena Faulkner, co-manager of history and culture at the Penn Center, which is dedicated to preserving the threatened sea island culture.
“People have done Gullah cookbooks, they have done African-American sayings, they have done proverbs,” Faulkner said. “But for the Bible to go out with the Gullah sends a message. It means we can speak the Word.”
Nestled amid spreading oaks dripping Spanish moss on this island just east of Beaufort, the center is located on the site of the Penn School, which was founded in 1862 to educate slaves newly freed by advancing Union troops. The culture — called Gullah in the Carolinas and Geechee in Florida and Georgia — remained intact with descendants of slaves because of the isolation of the region's sea islands. Now, about 250,000 Gullahs live in the four-state coastal area and about 10,000 of them speak Gullah as their main language.
SOURCE: AP (11-16-05)
Germar Rudolf, also known as Germar Scheerer, had his emergency petition to block the deportation rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday. He was put on a flight in Chicago on Monday night and arrived in Germany on Tuesday.
Rudolf, a chemistry graduate of Bonn University and a former student at Max Planck Institute in Stuttgart, was sentenced in 1995 to 14 months in prison for Holocaust denial, a crime in Germany, but then disappeared.
He petitioned the Supreme Court because he was appealing his deportation to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, but the next hearing was not scheduled until January - too late to halt the action.
Rudolf's "Expert Report on the Formation and Detectability of Cyanide Compounds in the Gas Chambers' of Auschwitz" concluded that "no mass gassings with hydrogen cyanide took place in the National Socialist concentration camp Auschwitz."
In sentencing Rudolf, the Stuttgart court cited his "incitement of the people in conjunction with denigration of the memory of the dead, libel and incitement to racial hatred."
Some 1.5 million people, most of them Jews, were killed at Auschwitz and the nearby Birkenau in Nazi-occupied Poland during World War II.
Name of source: Romanesko
SOURCE: Romanesko (11-18-05)
SOURCE: Romanesko (11-17-05)
Name of source: Amazon.com
SOURCE: Amazon.com (11-18-05)
2. A Great Improvisation : Franklin, France, and the Birth of America by Stacy Schiff
3. At Day's Close: Night in Times Past by A. Roger Ekirch
4. History on Trial : My Day in Court with David Irving by Deborah E. Lipstadt
5. The Command of the Ocean: A Naval History of Britain, 1649-1815 by N. A. M. Rodger
6. 1776 by David McCullough
7. A History Of The World In Six Glasses by Tom Standage
8. Europeana: A Brief History Of The Twentieth Century (Eastern European Literature) by Patrik Ourednik, Gerald Turner (Translator)
9. Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 by Tony Judt
10. Wedding of the Waters: The Erie Canal and the Making of a Great Nation by Peter L. Bernstein
Name of source: The Dougout (Blog)
SOURCE: The Dougout (Blog) (11-17-05)
The Green Books of the United States Army in World War II constitute the official history of the U.S. Army. The series was published by the Government Printing Office, and individual volumes are still available from that agency. While the other services do not have anything directly comparable to the Green Books, each has produced or sponsored a service history which covers World War II.
The Navy's semiofficial history of the war was written under an arrangement with Samuel Eliot Morison, at the time professor of history at Harvard University. His History of Naval Operations in World War II, published by Boston's Little, Brown and Company in fifteen volumes, is based primarily on official records. The activities of the Air Force are covered in The Army Air Forces in World War II, edited by Wesley Frank Craven and James Lea Cate. The multi-volume series was originally published by the University of Chicago Press and is now available through the Government Printing Office. A five-volume History of U.S. Marine Corps Operations in World War II has also been published by the Government Printing Office.
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (11-17-05)
Another record was set for the price of a single pearl, when the drop-shaped "La Regente" sold for 3.27 million francs ($2.5 million; euro2.1 million), three times the low-end estimate.
That pearl, which weighs over 300 grams (over 10.5 ounces), was given by Napoleon Bonaparte to his second wife Marie-Louise in 1811, Christie's said.
Name of source: Armenian News Network/Groong
SOURCE: Armenian News Network/Groong (11-18-05)
Lincoln-Sudbury High School history teacher Bill Schechter said in the original draft of the curriculum guide, composed in the mid-1990s,
was the Turkish point of view regarding the deportation of Armenians from Turkey and the killing of approximately 1.5 million Armenians during World War I. Schechter alleges that state Sen. Steven Tolman, D-Boston, deleted the guidelines from the curriculum.
"Frankly the law requires the Department of Education to develop a genocide curriculum," Tolman said. "It didn't say create doubt,it did not say to allow neo-Nazis to deny the Holocaust, and it certainly does not allow the Turkish Government to deny what happened."
"We're claiming that the political intervention that led to the removal of material constituted a violation of free speech and academic freedom," Schechter said. "It's on those grounds that this case will be litigated, the conviction is that this is not how history should be certified. When historical questions remain unsettled amongst
credible historians the state should not legislate historical truth by removing different points of view."
Heidi Perlman, spokeswoman for the Department of Education, said the department was simply implementing the law.
"Our role is to follow the letter of the law and to produce this document," Perlman said. "It's not a mandatory curriculum, and it needs to include information on how to teach genocide. We didn't think it was appropriate to have language that the genocide didn't take place. It is the responsibility of the legislature to change the law."
When asked about Tolman's influence on the deletion of the Turkish perspective from the guide, Perlman reinforced her statement the
department was following the law.
Name of source: NBC17.com
SOURCE: NBC17.com (11-18-05)
History records Blackbeard's flagship, the 40-gun Queen Anne's Revenge, ran aground near Beaufort Inlet in 1718. Archaeologists believe a treasure of information about the notorious pirate lies in a jumble of cannon and timber on the ocean floor there.
But the sea still holds the secret of whether the wreckage was really the Queen Anne's Revenge and the site might be destroyed before the truth is known.
"We've only done 5 percent of the wreck, which means the rest is sitting out there in potentially great hazard from storms," said Phil Masters, the underwater salvage expert who found the wreckage nine years ago.
The ship sank in about 24 feet of water and was buried under 15 feet of sand for almost 300 years, archaeologists said. But through the years, the ship also sank in the sand and now sits on bedrock, and storm after storm has gradually stripped away the protective sands.
Only 3 feet of sand now cover the wreckage, and the next violent storm to hit Bogue Banks could destroy the site, archaeologists said.
"We're seeing material we haven't seen before because now it's uncovered," said David Moore, of the North Carolina Maritime Museum. "But we also must ask, ‘What are we missing? What has the storm taken away that we didn't even know was there?'"
Hundreds of artifacts recovered so far point to Blackbeard, such as a 2,500-pound cannon that was recovered in May. Archaeologists at East Carolina University found valuable clues through X-rays.
Name of source: The Toronto Star
SOURCE: The Toronto Star (11-17-05)
A Canadian filmmaker has launched a crusade to stop U.S. treasure hunters from scavenging the wreck of HMS Fantome, which many believe was returning to Halifax with loot from the White House and Capitol Building when she sank in a storm on Nov. 24, 1814.
"It is not beyond imagination to see silverware stolen from the White House end up for sale on Ebay," said John Wesley Chisholm, who hopes to make a documentary film about the site.
"The province should revoke or suspend the licence for this site. On a larger scale, the entire (Treasure Trove Act) should be abolished."
Curtis Sprouse, founder of Sovereign Exploration Associates International, scoffed at Chisholm's criticism, saying it is companies like his that help uncover history and bring it to the public.
"We believe that preservation of history and presentation of history is of utmost importance," he said. "We are very proud of the approach we are taking."
[Editor's Note: See Roundup's "Talking About History" for a longer excerpt from this piece.]
Name of source: Yahoo News
SOURCE: Yahoo News (11-18-05)
The newest film to tackle Germany's Nazi past is Dennis Gansel's "Before the Fall" (Napola), which Picture This Entertainment opens Friday in Los Angeles, also engages the verboten with an evocative coming-of-age story told against the backdrop of an elite yet barbaric Nazi academy.
Gansel says he chose the subject matter in an attempt to come to terms with his family history. His grandfather was a student and later a teacher at a Nazi war academy similar to the one depicted in "Before the Fall."
"All his life until his death 10 years ago, he wanted us -- the grandchildren -- to understand how the system worked, what made him so excited about fascism," Gansel says. "My father never understood it because he was very left wing, and there was no real communication between my grandfather and my father. It took another generation, which is my sister and me, to understand it."
But "Before the Fall" is no Nazi valentine. In fact, through its honest depiction of how a young German is seduced by the system, the film becomes a more effective indictment of the Nazis' brutal regime than the more traditional one-dimensional representations.
SOURCE: Yahoo News (11-17-05)
Newly declassified documents from the Nixon years shed light on the Vietnam War, the struggle with the Soviet Union for global influence and a president who tried not to let public and congressional opinion get in his way.
They also show an administration determined to win re-election in 1972, with Nixon aides seeking ways to use Jimmy Hoffa to tap into the labor movement. The former Teamsters president had been pardoned by Nixon in 1971.
The release Wednesday of some 50,000 pages by the National Archives means about half the national security files from the Nixon era now are public.
On May 31, 1970, a month after Nixon went on TV to defend the previously secret U.S. bombings and troop movements in Cambodia, asserting that he would not let his nation become "a pitiful, helpless giant," the president met his top military and national security aides at the Western White House in San Clemente, Calif.
Revelation of the operation had sparked protests and congressional action against what many lawmakers from both parties considered an illegal war. Nixon noted that Americans believed the Cambodian operation was "all but over," even as 14,000 troops were engaged across the border in a hunt for North Vietnamese operating there.
In a memo from the meeting marked "Eyes Only, Top Secret Sensitive," Nixon told his military men to continue doing what was necessary in Cambodia, but to say for public consumption that the United States was merely providing support to South Vietnamese forces when necessary to protect U.S. troops.
"That is what we will say publicly," he asserted. "But now, let's talk about what we will actually do."
Name of source: Guardian (UK)
SOURCE: Guardian (UK) (11-18-05)
The state prosecutor's office in Vienna yesterday confirmed that Mr Irving, 67, who lost a libel case against Penguin Books and an American historian five years ago and was financially ruined as a result, was in investigative custody pending inquiries as to whether he would be tried on charges dating from 1989. Holocaust denial is a criminal offence in Austria.
Mr Irving, deported from Austria in 1984 and barred from the country, was arrested last Friday while driving from the southern province of Styria to Vienna, apparently to give a lecture to a student fraternity. Under Austrian legislation outlawing Holocaust denial and the "reactivation law" that criminalises active support for Nazism, he was charged in his absence in November 1989 after delivering two speeches to similar student fraternities in Austria allegedly denying the existence of the gas chambers. The charge carries a prison sentence of up to 20 years.
The author of more than 20 revisionist books of history, notably Hitler's War, infamous for his campaigns to belittle the crimes of the Holocaust and to play down Hitler's knowledge of and participation in the Final Solution, Mr Irving suffered disgrace five years ago when a high court judge ruled that he was an anti-semite, a racist, a liar and a falsifier of the history of the second world war.
Name of source: Independent (UK)
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (11-18-05)
The team spent the summer excavating ruins of the ancient city of Cancuen in central Guatemala and dug up at least 45 skeletons belonging to members of the Mayan royal court who appear to have been ritually slaughtered by an as-yet unknown horde of assailants.
Among the bones were those of the Mayan king Kan Maax and his wife, identified by their jewellery, headdresses and other precious artefacts. At least a dozen others showed signs of having been ritually dismembered and thrown into sacred spring waters - presumably as a way of wiping out both the leadership of Cancuen and the city itself.
Many of them appear to have died as a result of sharp spear jabs to the throat, suggesting summary execution on a grand scale. The attackers also chipped the faces of statues and religious monuments.
The ruins of Cancuen were discovered more than a century ago, but their significance as a possible centre of the Maya civilisation only became apparent five years ago, when a vast palace complex was found.
Scholars have long debated how, and how quickly, the Maya civilisation came to an end. The evidence unearthed by the archaeological team, led by a scholar from Vanderbilt University in Tennessee and funded by the National Geographic Society and the National Endowment for the Humanities, makes the strongest case yet the collapse was the result of a vicious war.
Name of source: Jewish News Weekly
SOURCE: Jewish News Weekly (11-17-05)
And it was an emotionally charged moment for Wang, president of Generation of the Shoah, a group in Argentina. “It has been nice to celebrate the New Year as my real self,” she said.
The government announced it would make the revision for Wang; that would set a precedent for others who say they too had to lie about their religion to gain entry to Argentina. The government also will waive the $75 cost of such a change.
Since President Nestor Kirchner took office just over two years ago, his administration has revised a half-century of Argentine policies turning a blind eye to the entry of Nazi war criminals following World War II, when the country had barred entry to Jews trying to escape the Holocaust. Some of the government’s major actions include:
• Opening long-closed Immigration Service records to promote the search for Nazi war criminals. The government of Carlos Menem had promised such a step in the 1990s, but strict control and bureaucratic snags over the dissemination of files and documents made the promise a farce.
• Ordering the removal of a plaque in the Foreign Ministry honoring Argentine diplomats who supposedly saved Jewish lives during the war. Historians argued that some the diplomats had consistently refused to give Jews visas, essentially dooming them to death.
• Finding and annulling a 1938 Foreign Ministry order, sent to diplomats around the world, to bar entry to Jews.
• Disbanding CEANA, the Foreign Ministry commission set up during the Menem years to clear up the skeletons of the country’s Nazi past. The commission seemed to hide more than it revealed, and was riven by internal strife. The Kirchner government says it’s looking at revamping the commission so that it can do a major historical documentation.
Name of source: Japan Focus
SOURCE: Japan Focus (11-10-05)
Ms. Tojo clearly idolizes her grandfather, who was executed as Japan’s top war criminal in 1948: she often comes to interviews with foreign journalists carrying a box of mementos that include nail clippings, a lock of hair, and the butt of the last cigarette the general smoked while awaiting the hangman’s noose in Sugamo Prison.
Contrary to those who put Tojo in the small club of World War 2 monsters along with Hitler and Mussolini, she says the man who ordered the Pearl Harbor attack led a “war of freedom” in Asia. “Essentially he was a kind man who loved peace,” she says. “He was defending his country against foreign aggressors. His greatest crime was that he loved his country.”
Name of source: Myrna Blyth in National Review
SOURCE: Myrna Blyth in National Review (11-15-05)
The British test is very different. It is based on a government-issued 125-page booklet called "Life in the U.K," and it costs the applicant $60 to take the test. There are 24 multiple-choice questions and the applicant must get three quarters of them correct. If he fails, the test can be taken over as many times as necessary. And only those who speak English can take the test. Those who don't have to take a "skills for life" course at a local college and prove to their tutor they have learned some English and understand the British way of life.
What are some of the questions on the British exam? Well, they have a lot more to do with knowing how to behave in contemporary British society than they have to do with the great traditions of "this sceptered isle."
For example there is one that asks (and I am not kidding): "What should you do if you spill someone's pint in the pub?" The wrong answers are:
"Dry their wet shirt with your own." Or "Prepare for a fight in the car park" or "Run away from the pub." The right answer: "Offer to buy the person another pint." And, no, the test was not written by Monty Python. (By the way, my newly American husband got that right. There are some things you obviously never forget).
Here's another question that's sort of sweet but definitely strange:
"Where does Father Christmas come from?" It isn't "Lapland," one of the choices, but that's close. And no, "I don't believe in Father Christmas anymore" is not a possible answer.
Name of source: KCBS News
SOURCE: KCBS News (11-17-05)
The Center spent six years conducting forensic tests on the bone fragment, on loan from a Danville business man whose great granduncle was a doctor in Vienna.
Researchers authenticated the bone, obtained when Ludwig van Beethoven's body was exhumed in 1863, by comparing it to a strand of the composer's hair, also at San Jose State.
"When I heard about this, I could barely contain my excitement," said John Sushe, a scholar at the Center.
"To find fragments of him like this and to be able to DNA test them, which let's face it not many years ago simply was unknown, unheard of," he said, "now we might get to the bottom of these great mysteries."
Both remains had an extremely high concentration of lead, which historians have long theorized was the leading factor in Beethoven's deafness.
Name of source: PanArmenian.net
SOURCE: PanArmenian.net (11-17-05)
In a letter, Sir Westmacott officially explained that the Blue Book was drafted by the Parliament, not the Government. He emphasized however, that – contrarily to the insinuations of the Turkish parliamentarians – "none of the individual reports [presented in the document] has been refuted" and that the moral and intellectual probity of the authors, Lord Bryce and the prominent historian Arnold J. Toynbee – may not be questioned. The European Armenian Federation considers this letter by a senior representative of the United Kingdom a confirmation that its Government acknowledges the Armenian Genocide as an incontestable and thoroughly documented historical fact.
Name of source: Telegraph (London)
SOURCE: Telegraph (London) (11-17-05)
"The president and I cannot prevent certain politicians from losing their memory, or their backbone - but we're not going to sit by and let them rewrite history," he said.
Democrats have exploited rising anti-war feeling in the US in recent weeks and accused the administration of manipulating intelligence to justify the war and leaking classified information to discredit critics.
But the White House has launched an aggressive counter-attack, accusing Democrats - many of whom voted in favour of the invasion in 2002 - of "rewriting history".
Mr Cheney called Democrats "opportunists" who were peddling "cynical and pernicious falsehoods" to gain political advantage while American soldiers died in Iraq.
Name of source: Boston Globe
SOURCE: Boston Globe (11-14-05)
Superintendent Tresa Zumsteg decided Monday to remove the song "Pick a Bale of Cotton" from the program, said Gwen Ahearn, spokeswoman for the Berkley School District.
Ahearn said that when the song was picked for Wednesday's folk songs concert at Anderson Middle School, there was no intent to offend anyone. "As it became apparent that that is the case, we pulled the song," she said. The school is predominantly white.
The song's lyrics include, "Jump down, turn around, pick a bale of cotton. Gotta jump down, turn around, Oh, Lordie, pick a bale a day."
Parent Greg Montgomery said he complained to school officials, and when he was dissatisfied with their response, decided to pull his 11-year-old daughter, China, from singing.
"It's mind-boggling that people don't understand sensitive issues," he told The Detroit News.
Name of source: Philadelphia Inquirer
SOURCE: Philadelphia Inquirer (11-10-05)
The 103,000-square-foot American Revolution Center, designed by renowned architect Robert A.M. Stern, would house more than 100,000 privately owned objects and manuscripts, including George Washington's tent and Abigail Adams' apron. With exhibits, theaters and programming, it would tell not just the story of Valley Forge, but the birth of the nation.
The $100 million center would mesh with Independence Hall, the Constitution Center, and nearby battlefields to make this part of Pennsylvania a mecca for the millions of people who have an unquenchable curiosity about the story of how the United States came to be.
Historians, artists, generals, businesspeople, politicians (on both sides of the aisle) loved the idea. Fund-raising was proceeding until last summer, when a congressional inquiry into 23 partnership projects nationwide prevented the center from accepting a $10 million donation from the Oneida Indian Nation. The insulted tribe returned to New York. Relations between the center and Park Service have been shaky ever since.
Despite numerous earlier studies, the Park Service requested further financial reassurances and now insists on downsizing the building, which would make it too small to keep the project feasible.
Congress and the Park Service are breaching faith with the nonprofit. It's a lousy way to repay a group that used its own fund-raising campaign to secure a $1 million private grant to refurbish the park's once-dingy visitor's center.
SOURCE: Philadelphia Inquirer (11-13-05)
Valley Forge, established as Pennsylvania's first state park in 1893, became a national park in 1976. Its purpose, Congress said then, was to commemorate the "hardship and determination and resolve of Gen. George Washington's Continental Army during the winter of 1777-78."
Since it fell into the feds' hands, the park has known only hardship and lack of resolve. Starved for funding, it's fallen into shameful disrepair. In 2000 and 2002, it made watch lists of the country's most endangered parks.
The federal government "has run it into the ground," says Pennsylvania Gov. Rendell.
Now the National Park Service has imposed unreasonable demands on a private partner that offered a chance to turn the park's fortunes around. The American people deserve a better caretaker than this. Pennsylvania would do a better job.
"In the 29 years since establishment, little of the progress and protection intended by Congress has resulted," says a recent Park Service planning document. "The decline since 1976 is measurable."
Historic structures, "which were in reasonable condition when conveyed from the state," are seriously deteriorated, the document says. Much of the park's museum collection, featuring American Revolution military artifacts and documents, is housed poorly in terms of security and preservation. Less than 1 percent of the collection can be publicly displayed.
Appalled by the buildings' condition, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named Valley Forge one of America's "11 Most Endangered Historic Places" in 2000. The trust didn't just lament; it acted, helping the park secure $1.15 million to stabilize buildings - $680,000 from Pennsylvania. Renovations would cost more than $18 million.
The park's inability to serve visitors landed it on the National Parks Conservation Association's 2002 endangered list. Despite recent improvements in education, interpretive staff can reach only 3 percent of park visitors. School groups don't find much to do. Only two buildings - the Welcome Center and Washington's Headquarters - are open year-round.
Name of source: USA Today
SOURCE: USA Today (11-15-05)
But when it comes to public opinion, Americans' attitudes toward Iraq and the proper course ahead are remarkably similar to public attitudes toward Vietnam in the summer of 1970, a pivotal year in that conflict and a time of enormous domestic unrest.
Some political scientists and Vietnam War historians predict the Iraq war, like the one in Southeast Asia a quarter-century ago, will shape American attitudes long after it's over.
"This war is probably a really big deal historically in terms of America's perspective on the world," says John Mueller, a political scientist at Ohio State University. "What you're going to get after this is 'We don't want to do that again — No more Iraqs' just as after Vietnam the syndrome was 'No more Vietnams.' "
A USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll taken Friday through Sunday found that just more than half of those surveyed wanted to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq within the next 12 months. In a Gallup Poll in July-August 1970, just less than half wanted to withdraw U.S. troops from Vietnam within 12 months.
In both surveys, about one-third supported withdrawing troops over as many years as needed, and about one in 10 wanted to send more troops.
Name of source: Albuquerque Tribune
SOURCE: Albuquerque Tribune (11-15-05)
The APS debate, which finds itself now before a district committee of parents and educators reviewing the complaints, is timely and worthy of broader public attention.
It raises serious questions about the purpose and aims of teaching history (national pride and civic duty are often cited) and whether Albuquerque and other Americans are being adequately equipped to engage in public policy debates that have historical roots - including a decision to wage war.
In one corner of the APS fight, illustrated by the jabs of parent Tony Watkins, critics contend a high school textbook used in APS classes is insensitive to minorities, yet portrays Europeans in "glowing terms."
Another critic, Darva Chino, an Acoma-Navajo woman, school administrator and parent, said the book is a typical example of history textbooks that are not just "to people of color."
Watkins cited criticism of the "American Pageant" textbook by history professor James Loewen. Loewen's book, "Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong," challenges the high ground of teaching American history to the country's high school students.
Loewen discovered, during a survey of American history textbooks while at the Smithsonian Institution, that American high school textbooks were less focused on historical fact than they were on blind patriotism and optimism.
He found them full of misinformation, inaccuracies and sins of omission. For example, if you are wondering why you may know so little about the Vietnam War, it might be because Loewen found that about nine out of 10 American high school history classes never even mention Vietnam, while those that do tend to provide a very limited and misleading story.
It should be noted that Loewen, in turn, has been criticized for presenting an"unabashed left-wing perspective," or what some might describe as a"politically correct" approach.
Some APS history teachers defend the use of"American Pageant" as being comprehensive (1,044 pages), authored by Stanford and Harvard University professors, and recommended nationally for use in the rigorous advanced history classes.
Name of source: Baltimore Sun
SOURCE: Baltimore Sun (11-15-05)
That makes it the most recognizable and jarring of the places listed statewide as "in peril" in a report released Monday by the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, the nation's largest nonprofit state preservation group.
While thriving black-owned businesses from the 1920s to the 1950s earned the mile-and-a-half-long stretch the nickname "the richest Negro street in the world," many middle-class and wealthy residents left after desegregation in the 1960s.
With homelessness and crime rampant, activists started to try to revitalize the historic houses, but the commercial district on the avenue's west end has lagged behind.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation, which releases an annual list of America's 11 most endangered historic places, has long sought to protect black heritage in the South -- putting on its list all historic black churches in the region in 1996 and all black colleges and universities in 1998.
Name of source: Fox4news
SOURCE: Fox4news (11-11-05)
Carter says he wrote this book reluctantly, but did so because he just couldn't stay silent anymore. "In the last 5 years there's been a dramatic and disturbing and radical change in the values of this country," Carter said. For example, he says peace is an American value, not pre-emptive
war: "we don't wait until our country is threatened," Carter said, "we publicly announced our new policy is to attack a county, invade a country, bomb a county." He says another American value is human rights.
Name of source: The History Carnival